Joe Paterno, the embattled former head coach at Penn State University, died of lung cancer on Saturday night, according to a report from CBS Sports. He was 85.
When Paterno retired, many in college football saw him as one of the patriarchs of the sport, a man who had been with the same program his entire career, beginning in 1950 as an assistant coach.
Paterno had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, shortly after being dismissed as the team’s head coach. His family members made public statements telling fans and supporters that the cancer was treatable.However, as time passed it became clear that the treatments were not going well.
JoePa held the NCAA records for most victories in Division I history, most games coached (tied with Amos Alonzo Stagg), and most bowl game victories by a head coach in the sport’s history. His career record of 409-136-3 ranks as one of the highest winning percentages in the history of college football, and few would deny his reputation as one of the sport’s greatest coaches.